Standby power – the vampire in your home

We all love a tip that can save you money and now there’s one small change you can make that can lower your energy usage too. It all starts with a flick of a switch…

“Vampire power” is working behind the scenes to consume energy even when your appliances are turned off.  So what is it? Also known as Standby power, it refers to the energy drawn down by an appliance when it’s not in use.

You might be surprised to learn that standby power consumption can cost the average household up to $100 per year. By turning off appliances at the wall, you could be saving this amount.

Which appliances drain the most power?

Although our appliances and devices are getting smarter, the below table from consumer organisation Choice shows just how greatly the standby power consumption can vary. 

Here are a few examples of everyday products and the impact they can have on your power bill annually:

Multifunction printer$0.00 $32.06
Wireless router$7.13$41.58
Smart speaker$0.27$9.92
Washing machine$0.00$7.60
Microwave oven$0.67$6.28
Clothes dryer $0.28$1.72
Air con – large$0.04$1.08
Digital video recorder$2.80$31.30
TVs – 100-115cm$0.01$0.02
Blu-Ray players$0.00$0.01

As you can see, while the usage costs aren’t incredibly high, they do add up. It pays to shop around and check the star-rating of your appliances. 

Top 4 tips to manage your standby power

  1. Switch off your appliances at the wall where possible.
  2. Install a standby power controller.  Check the energy rating of new appliances to see if standby power consumption is included.
  3. Buy everyday-use appliances such as fridges based on lowest running costs and best performance
  4. Check your energy-rating. Even though a device might have a low standby power cost, the overall energy efficiency when it’s turned on should also be taken into account.

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